Consider the following story line:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who wanted to explore the world, so, one day she packed up her things and set out on a journey. She walked through the woods that surrounded her hut until she reached a road. Standing on the other side of the road was another traveler, a little boy. When asked, he suggested that she go north, for that was where the big towns and more interesting sights were. So she walked along the road northward until she reached a large town. She spent several days exploring the town and meeting all kinds of strange people. Finally she grew bored, and found a new road along which to travel. Standing at the edge of town was a young woman. When asked, she suggested that the little girl go east, for that was where the small cities and most interesting sights were. So the little girl walked eastward along the road until she came to a small city. She wandered through the city for a few weeks and saw all manner of new inventions. Finally she had seen everything, so she left and found a new road along which to travel. Waiting at an intersection was a man, who, when asked, suggested that the little girl go south, for that was where the big cities were. So the little girl walked along the road going south for quite some time, until she came to a large city. There she talked with people from different countries who spoke different languages and had entirely different cultures. She learned a lot during her stay, but finally she had had enough of the city, so she found another road along which to travel. Resting in a nearby park was an old woman, who, when asked if she could recommend any particular direction for the little girl to travel, exclaimed, “Oh, there is a lovely forest west of here. I love to wander through the trees and enjoy the peace and quiet.” So the little girl went west and after a while, found the very forest in which she lived. She skipped through the trees to her hut, glad to be home.

How might we allegorize this tale? We could, for example, make the story symbolic of gaining experience (naming the little girl “Innocence,” perhaps). Or we could substitute animals for the human characters (the little girl could, for example, be represented by a baby chick, or a fawn, and the old woman by an owl). Does allegorizing the story add a layer of meaning? Does your version seem to have a moral? Write your allegorical version of the story and your responses to these questions in your notebook—this will be collated so that you can print or e-mail your work when you are finished.

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